Dr M: Syed Saddiq’s signal for Foodpanda snub is his personal stand

An estimated 100 Foodpanda riders attend an open dialogue with Youth and Sport Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman at his residence in Petaling Jaya October 1, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
An estimated 100 Foodpanda riders attend an open dialogue with Youth and Sport Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman at his residence in Petaling Jaya October 1, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — The government does not share Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's view that consumers should punish the Foodpanda delivery service, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The PM said stressed that the minister’s remarks made on Twitter was entirely the latter’s personal opinion and not discussed with the Cabinet beforehand.

“That's not the government's stand. Maybe he has his reason as to why he made that statement,” Dr Mahathir said when asked to comment about Syed Saddiq's suggestion.

Yesterday, Syed Saddiq criticised Foodpanda for refusing to abandon its new pay structure that some riders have likened to slave labour, adding that “arrogance” was not the way to resolve such problems.

Syed Sadiq said that consumers could take down arrogant businesses just as they could vote out elected representatives.

Foodpanda is pushing ahead with the pay scheme that riders allege would cause their earnings potential to be halved.

The firm argued that the new system would lead to higher revenue for riders based on their daily deliveries.

Syed Saddiq previously sided with the delivery riders and was able to convince the Cabinet into urging Foodpanda to restore its previous pay structure for the delivery riders’ welfare.

Firms such as Foodpanda and Grab operate in a legal grey area as their delivery riders are considered “partners” or freelancers rather than employees and consequently do not have the usual legal safeguards of full-time workers.

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